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Reader’s Theater is a highly engaging and motivating reading strategy that promotes connected text fluency — reading aloud with expression and confidence. Unlike traditional theater performances, reader’s theater does not require costumes, props or memorization. Reading aloud from a script, readers use only their voices, facial expressions and gestures to interpret the emotions, attitudes and motives of characters. Instead of acting out the scenes as in a play, the performer’s goal is to read a script aloud effectively, enabling the audience to visualize the action.

Repeated reading of scripts is the key component of reader’s theater. Repetition first builds word-level automaticity, which then allows readers to focus on oral reading expression. Students are more likely to reread if they know they will be performing a reading for an audience. 

Watch a video of students performing a Reader's Theater piece. 


 


English Language Learners: Fluency is an important issue for students who are English-language learners.  Research indicates that fluency can be improved with repeated readings, such as during Readers Theater. 

 

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Literacy